Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse Starts Fasts, Finishes Strong Defensively in Win over Duke

Saturday, Mar 30, 2019 at 4:53 pm by Sports Editor

By Jaron May

CitrusTV Women’s Lacrosse Beat Reporter

DURHAM, N.C. — It was a game of two different halves in Durham, North Carolina on Sunday afternoon as No. 3 Syracuse (12-2, 4-1 ACC) squared off against conference foe No. 13 Duke (8-4, 2-2 ACC). The first was an offensive clinic, while the second saw lock down defense. Put together, the halves produced a slim 15-14 victory for SU.

The game began in classic Syracuse fashion. The Orange were the ones to open the scoring, with none other than Emily Hawryschuk. Then just a minute later, Meaghan Tyrrell added another. SU fans heard both of those names called quite a bit on the afternoon. Tyrrell tied her career high with three goals, while Hawryschuk, who lost her four-goals per game streak on Wednesday, got right back to what she does best by tallying four points and adding an assist.

The fast Orange start was quickly matched by the Blue Devils, who went on a run for themselves. Duke would pour in three unanswered goals to take its first lead ten minutes into the game. Two of those goals came from attacker Olivia Jenner. The senior finished with a career high 6 goals and matched her career high of 9 points by adding 3 assists.

That is just about how the entire first half would go. One team would go on a run, just to be answered right back by the other team going on a streak of its own. The first half would see 18 combined goals and only 5 saves.

None of those goals, however, came from the Blue Devils’ and the country’s most prolific scorer— Charlotte North. The Duke sophomore leads the country this season in goals with 56 and points with 74. But in Sunday’s matchup with Syracuse, North did not score once for the first time this year and was held to just one assist.

The main reason for North’s struggles was the staggering Syracuse defense. It came out in the second half and so did Duke’s defense to slow down the fast-paced game.

That defense was heavily reliant on Allyson Trice on Sunday. The sophomore was given the task of face guarding North. She has recently assumed the face guarding duties, which used to go to Grace Fahey. Trice, however, has impressed head coach Gary Gait, who has rewarded her hard work with more responsibilities. Once again, Trice did not disappoint on Sunday and shut down one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the country.

Gary Gait’s defense is at the top in many statistical categories this season and includes Asa Goldstock in net, who is 13th in the nation in goals allowed per game. The junior played a pivotal role towards the end of the game.

With both teams trading blows, the Orange were the ones to begin to pull away. But in the last five minutes, Duke started to make things interesting and test the SU defense. The Blue Devils began pressuring the Orange and throwing shot after shot at Goldstock. She, however, responded like the veteran she is and made big save after big save.

No save was bigger than with 2:43 left. As Duke was down by two, SU’s Vanessa Constantino fouled Charlotte North inside the critical scoring area to set up a free position shot. With the country’s best scorer staring her down, Goldstock squared up and prepared for the shot. The whistle blew and North fired the ball towards the bottom corner of the net. Goldstock couldn’t get her stick down quick enough, so she flung her body towards the ball and blocked it with an outstretched foot.

The save might have been the difference, as Duke would score one last time a minute later to pull to within just one.

The second half saw just 11 combined goals, compared to 18 in the first. The SU defense stepped up big to hold out Duke’s late surge and secure their 12th win of the season.

Now No. 3 Syracuse will come back home to host Virginia Tech on Wednesday. | @jaron_may